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2021-22 News Thread

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Drury is the only one they really put any effort into talking about this summer so I'd assume it will be him. Honestly, I'd just like them to pick one for the early match and stick with it. That was people can get used to the rotation. Do that and folks will quit bitching about Arlo being gone soon enough.
I think they pick up the Sky feed for that one, but Comcast bought Sky Sports in 2018, so they should be assigning the broadcasters. There are only 2 exclusive windows on Saturday, 7:30 and 12:30. Drury will do the 12:30 match with a combination of Graeme LeSaux and Lee Dixon but a permanent team for the early match would serve them well.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Yeah, I've found that if a network in confident with those assignments and stick with it, the audience eventually adjusts. They run into trouble when they're clearly auditioning and reacting to short term audience responses.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
The USWNT match at Wembley in October is sold out for general admission tickets. Only hospitality options are available.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
The USWNT match at Wembley in October is sold out for general admission tickets. Only hospitality options are available.
Well, the US said they wanted some marquee friendlies with better competition heading into the World Cup. That one works. It's a great chance to let those young American attackers try their luck against a World Class back 4. Hopefully they can also schedule a game with France, Germany or Sweden while they're over in Europe. Continental flights are cheap ... I'm just sayin'
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Well, the US said they wanted some marquee friendlies with better competition heading into the World Cup. That one works. It's a great chance to let those young American attackers try their luck against a World Class back 4. Hopefully they can also schedule a game with France, Germany or Sweden while they're over in Europe. Continental flights are cheap ... I'm just sayin'
Steven Goff from the Washington Post said there would be another friendly on September 10, but I think he meant October 10 becuase they’re playing Nigeria in KC on 9/3 and in Washington on 9/6. I can’t imagine they’d try to squeeze in a 3rd match in that window.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Steven Goff from the Washington Post said there would be another friendly on September 10, but I think he meant October 10 becuase they’re playing Nigeria in KC on 9/3 and in Washington on 9/6. I can’t imagine they’d try to squeeze in a 3rd match in that window.
Maybe not, but for a friendly cycle they can call up the entire pool if they want. So, they could schedule "light" for that game in DC and go with a B squad. If the game in England is a one-off then may be not ... but if they can parlay that trip overseas into a 2-fer then the Septmeber window takes on less significance.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Covernty Coty’s match against Rotherham United was postponed due to unplayable pitch conditions at Coventry Building Society Arena. They don’t own the stadium, it’s owned by rugby club Wasps and it was just used to host the Rugby 7s in the Commonwealth Games. Supposedly, the pitch was supposed to have been re-sodded over the summer, but that never happened and the combination of concerts and the rugby matches destroyed it.

 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Christian Benteke finally got his US work visa and will be on the bench for DC United’s match against NYCFC on Wednesday. Wayne Rooney says he aims to play him 20 minutes. They have 7 matches left and are DFL in the League but Benteke needs minutes to put himself in position for selection for Belgium’s Nations League and World Cup matches.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Did we miss that Disney didn’t renew their contract with US Soccer? After 30 years, today‘s USWNT friendly win over Germany was the last match in ESPN. Fox has the World Cups, CONCACAF Nations League matches are on CBS/Paramount. Turner Sports takes over most matches after the World Cup, the first year of an 8 year contract.

 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Did we miss that Disney didn’t renew their contract with US Soccer? After 30 years, today‘s USWNT friendly win over Germany was the last match in ESPN. Fox has the World Cups, CONCACAF Nations League matches are on CBS/Paramount. Turner Sports takes over most matches after the World Cup, the first year of an 8 year contract.

I feel like I've known that for a while, but ... maybe not. Parent Disney is forcing ESPN to cut costs on products that don't drive revenue. Soccer was a pet project for the executive group that was in place around a decade ago, but those contracts are running out at a time when ESPN is a completely different corporate animal. If it's not football or a distressed asset (ie ... cheap), then they're not interested ... at least not for now.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
I feel like I've known that for a while, but ... maybe not. Parent Disney is forcing ESPN to cut costs on products that don't drive revenue. Soccer was a pet project for the executive group that was in place around a decade ago, but those contracts are running out at a time when ESPN is a completely different corporate animal. If it's not football or a distressed asset (ie ... cheap), then they're not interested ... at least not for now.
And, with MLS going completely to Apple TV for 10 years starting next season, it's not worth them keeping soccer staffed. From the article, it sounds like the Nations League rights come up next year, but that’s probably not enough content to deal with, even if ESPN+ could use the inventory.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
And, with MLS going completely to Apple TV for 10 years starting next season, it's not worth them keeping soccer staffed. From the article, it sounds like the Nations League rights come up next year, but that’s probably not enough content to deal with, even if ESPN+ could use the inventory.
Nations League might be cheap enough to keep them in the hunt, but not cheap enough to keep a soccer broadcasting staff in place. They could basically farm it out as a package if they want, but you'd think Nations League would end up with a broadcaster who would use it compliment other soccer programming. I've never been clear on who exactly is supposed to care about that thing anyway.

I'd assume they'll be relying solely on web-based soccer content at ESPN for now. Their ESPN FC stuff is cheap and easy to produce, so I'd guess they'll maintain a presence with that kind of stuff.
 
It makes sense. I assume that soccer has the lowest average age of the viewers of any major sport in the US. Soccer more than any other sport makes sense to being on streaming services rather than normal cable seeing as I don't know anyone that still has cable and I'm 40.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
It makes sense. I assume that soccer has the lowest average age of the viewers of any major sport in the US. Soccer more than any other sport makes sense to being on streaming services rather than normal cable seeing as I don't know anyone that still has cable and I'm 40.
Yeah, it's still very much niche stuff in the US aside from the World Cup. Very much a good fit for weekend mornings and streaming. And for development purposes, MLS very much needs to be on just one outlet that prioritizes them. Better for them to be with a secondary player, so long as that secondary player treats them like the prom queen.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
I waited until the World Cup dust had cleared to post this and then promptly forgot. A sad confession given the seriousness of the issue. NWSL's final investigative report on league wide misconduct on the part of various coaches, owners and front office staff is out. 127 pages of ugly reading detailing a systemic breakdown of almost baffling proportions. The league has excised most of these clowns at this point, but holy crap do they still have a lot of work to do to rebuild any kind of trust. This was the best summary I read, hopefully it's not back behind a paywall.

 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
BTW ... not a ton of new info in the report aside from news that Paul Riley continued his disgusting behavior with the NC Courage, attempting to creep on defender Kaleigh Kurtz who was brave enough to come forward. She just signed an extension with Courage so she must be satisfied with the changes to their front office setup. Otherwise most of this stuff was publicly reported previously, although the full weight of the timeline is pretty awful to read. Pretty much all the owners, coaches and management involved have been moved out, although Arnem Whisler hasn't formally sold the Chicago Red Stars yet despite making noises about doing so. NC's ownership remains in place, but have probably done just enough to be at arm's length from Riley's BS ... by a whisker.

Bottom line ... NWSL is basically starting from scratch, but it's doing so with their first proper CBA, a professional management team and their eyes wide open. Hopefully they can build from a solid foundation from here, having finally been willing to at least catalogue their MANY past failures.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
You read that report and wonder how Jill Ellis is still employed by a NWSL team.
I mean, I wondered how she got hired in the first place. As you probably remember, I've had issues with her purely from a coaching and tactical standpoint. Yeah, she got results but only because she was rolling out teams with WAY more talent than her competition. I think she's a hack and that clearly extends to her management of players. She's STILL playing silly games with Christin Press' situation in Chicago.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
And the year nears an end with a massive kick in the groin. Pele has passed away today. I only saw him play on live TV as an older gent, and he's still the best I've ever seen.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Just a reminder ... it's January 2023 and the US men don't have a coach. Fun. And yes, they have camp and friendlies scheduled for later this month. Double fun
 
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